CFP national title game preview

January 7, 2018

CFP National Championship (Atlanta): Georgia (13-1) vs Alabama (13-1); 8 PM ET; ESPN

It will be an all-SEC match-up in the CFP national championship game in Atlanta on Monday evening with Georgia playing Alabama. This is old hat for Alabama which will be playing in its 5th national title games in the past 8 years, although this likely isn’t one of the best Tide teams in that period. Still, its Alabama, which doesn’t recruit  much other than high school All-Americans, and the Tide again have their share of top prospects for the upcoming draft.  Indeed, junior CB/S Minkah Fitzpatrick (#29, 6-1, 202), who has emerged as arguably the best all-around DB in college football and is currently pushing for a top 5 grade, along with WR Calvin Ridley (#3, 6-0, 190), LB Rashaan Evans (#32, 6-2, 235), and 5T DE Da’Shawn Hand (#9, 6-3, 290) all have opening round pound. At the same time, several other Alabama players including SS Ronnie Harrison (#15, 6-2, 215),  junior RBs Damien Harris (#34, 5-10, 225) and Bo Scarbrough (#9, 6-1, 235), WR Robert Foster (#1, 6-1, 195), junior OG Ross Pierschbacker (#71, 6-3, 305) and junior DT Da’Ron Payne (#94, 6-2, 310) have second-day possibilities, while C Bradley Bozeman (#75, 6-4, 315), CBs Anthony Averett (#28, 5-11, 185), Levi Wallace (#39, 5-11, 185) and Tony Brown (#2, 6-0, 200), and P J.K. Scott (#15, 6-5, 205) could get mid-round consideration.

Meanwhile, Georgia is led by junior OLB Roquan Smith (#3, 6-0, 225), who is starting to generate some top 10-20 buzz of his own. Smith isn’t all that big, but he can really run and is an explosive hitter when he gets there; this fall, he leads the Dawgs with 124 tackles including 5.5 sacks.  Meanwhile, UGA has arguably the best 1-2 punch at RB in the country in seniors Nick Chubb (#27, 5-9, 225) and Sony Michel (#1, 5-10, 215) who have combined for over almost 2,500 rushing yards and 31 TDs on the ground this fall. Along the way, Chubb, who has bounced back nicely from a devastating leg injury two years ago, has averaged 6.4 yards per carry, while Michel has been even better with a 8.0 figure per pop. They run behind a solid offensive front led by rising G/T Isaiah Wynn (#77, 6-2, 305), who will play LT against Alabama, but is a second-day prospect at OG for the upcoming draft. The Dawgs also have an aggressive defensive front anchored by rugged NT John Atkins (#97, 6-3, 305), while rangy OLBs Lorenzo Carter (#7, 6-5, 245) and Davin Bellamy (#17, 6-5, 245) provide the speed coming off the edge.